Apr 22, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Brian Gionta (21) skates with the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period in game four of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Daily: Prospect Watch, Brian Gionta, NHL Combine

Not enough room for all Buffalo Sabres prospects.  [Bleacher Report].

I have been doing the Buffalo Sabres roster report over the last several weeks, and many have been commenting on my choice for how the lineup should or will shake out.  Well guess what, this article sums it all up.  Take a good look at who the Buffalo Sabres are fielding on this years opening night roster, now add a few more first round draft picks next year.

Who do you keep?  A team once lacking in centers now has Cody Hodgson, Tyler Ennis, Sam Reinhart, Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko – they would love to add either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel to that mix.

There just isn’t enough room for everyone on this roster.

Now that is a good problem to have, if Tim Murray and company can select the right pieces to keep for the roster.  Either way, a plethora of prospects has the Buffalo Sabres with the best prospect depth in the league.  Had the Buffalo Sabres the Cup in the next three to five years?  I wouldn’t go so far to say that (although as a fan of the organization I would gladly see that happen) – but I will say the Buffalo Sabres should be contenders for several years to come, making hockey interesting to watch again.

Brian Gionta happy to be home, and the fans - happy to have him.  [Rochester D&C].

He was born in Rochester – so playing what is likely the last contract of his career for his hometown team might give him an extra energy boost and he will likely have a solid few years in Buffalo.

I was a little worried that the Buffalo Sabres were falling back on old habits here, extending contracts to aging veterans who have had decent careers in the hopes that their veteran leadership would help the youth movement.

For some reason, this one feels different.  For one, there is plenty of gas left in the tank for Gionta – who at the age of 35 still put up pretty decent numbers for the Montreal Canadiens.

He scored 18 goals and added 22 assists last year – adding another goal in the playoffs.  Put those stats on last years Buffalo Sabres and he was third in scoring on the Sabres last year, with only Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis putting up more goals and points.

Buffalo Sabres hosting NHL Combine in 2015 and 2016.  [Sabres.com]

More of a feather in their cap than something for their fans – the NHL Scouting Combine is coming to Buffalo.  What I took most from the press conference yesterday was Ted Black and John Koelmel’s comments about being selective about what they bid on and accept to bring to the home of the Buffalo Sabres in the line of events.  Sure – Ted Black wants Buffalo to be a destination – but you can’t realistically take on all projects.  It just isn’t fiscally or logistically possible.

I think I would be more excited about the Combine in Buffalo if there was more of an NFL experience type combine – the fact that there is no on ice portion – it just doesn’t enthrall the masses to watch a guy who has aspirations of the NHL push himself on a bike or do sit-ups and talk to team reps.

At this point it is all about the prestige and showing off Terry Pegula’s shiny new Harbor Center to the hockey world.

Elmira Jackals name Jared Abbot Assistant GM.  [Star Gazette].

A man of many hats for the Buffalo Sabres ECHL affiliate.

He was the teams director of broadcasting and media relations – a job to which he was named to in April of this year.  He also does the play-by-play for the Jackals, and handles media and public relations.

He will continue to manage those roles, while working with Jackals head coach Jamie Russell on daily hockey operations and player relations.


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Tags: Brian Gionta Buffalo Sabres Buffalo Sabres Prospects Elmira Jackals Jared Abbott Nhl Scouting Combine

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